What exactly is love, according to the bible, that is? Let’s find out shall we? Depending on its context the word “love” can mean several different things. In Hebrew love can be defined as ‘ahab aw-hab’ or ‘ohab o’-hab which means a friendship love or camaraderie or affection, brotherly love. Love can be ‘Eldad el-dad’ or God has loved, cared for. This word can also mean “at the breast” or provider.
Chabab khaw-bab’ which is similar, is to hide in ones bosom, protect, show fatherly affection. Love can be chashaq khaw-shak’ which means to cling to, rely upon, to delight in. Love can be kamar kaw-mar’ which means to be deeply affected with passion (love or pity) or yearning for. It can mean Agab aw-gab’ which means to dote upon, to love with passion of the senses and egeb eh’-gheb is to find lovely. Then we have agabah ag-aw-baw’ which is to love inordinately or to be strongly attracted or disposed to love, especially sexual love. Another root word of love is racham raw-kham’ which is to have compassion, pity, mercy, tenderness.
So now let’s take a look at the Greek words for love. We have agapao which is to love in a social or moral sense, agape which is to have affection, benevolence, charity which is a giving love. Thelo which means to choose or prefer, to be inclined to, to be willing, be disposed toward, have rather than, desire above others. Then there is philagathos which means to be fond of, promoting goodness and virtue. Philadelphia is brotherly affection and philandros is a love between husband and wife.
Philanthropia is to have benevolence and kindness towards others,philarguria is a greedy love, like idolatry, love of money, phileo means to have a doting affection or sentiment feeling for, based on a matter of principle, duty and propriety. Philoproteuo is to be fond of first or preeminence. And Lastly we have philoteknos which is having affection for one’s children.
Now let’s look at the English word for love: an intense feeling of deep affection, a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.
As you can see love in English may not be the same as a Biblical word for love so we had better know exactly what love word is being used within the context of the scriptures to have an accurate meaning, now for my subject. The bible says that love fulfills the law of God.
This word in the Greek is agapē love which is to have affection, benevolence, charity which is a giving love. Jesus said that the greatest love is to lay down our lives for others and we know how short we all fall in this so that is not the love that fulfills the law. The Bible specifically says that we all fall short of God’s glory or perfection so what love fulfills the law? The love that laid down his life for his sheep…..JESUS…..his love fulfills the law of God.
Let me show you using agape love in scriptures.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Romans 13:8
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Galatians 5: 14
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18
After Jesus death and resurrection he fulfilled the law. Therefore the law is abolished for the Christian. ALL OF IT.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Romans 10:4
In other words our righteousness does not depend on keeping the law but on Christ’s fulfilling the law and imputing (accredited to our account) his righteousness, not our own which falls short of perfection. Only perfect love can cast out fear, death, hell, and sin. God’s agape love through the giving of his Son to pay the ransom for those held in bondage to sin is perfect love.
“But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:23-29
“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having ABOLISHED in his flesh the enmity, EVEN THE LAW OF COMANDMENTS contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” Ephesians 2: 11-15
As you can see from these scriptures, God’s agape love through Jesus Christ fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law. Having said that, what is our position under the new covenant? A new law! Law? Yes, let’s take a look at the meaning of law. This word has two meanings. Law as in rules and regulations is now abolished BUT law as in a statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present is in effect.
Let’s check the Bible to find out about this new law.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God
To declares I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus, Where is boasting then? It is excluded, By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith”. Rom. 3: 23
So, faith in God or saving faith is a law! A law is a fact, in the natural we have the law of gravity, what goes up must come down. In the spiritual we have the law of faith. Whosoever believes (has faith) in Jesus Christ will be saved! That is a spiritual law!
Now let’s take a look at one more law.“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. “Rom. 8:1
In other words those in Jesus Christ are not under Old Testament laws of any kind even the 10 commandments but rather are now under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
When we become born again by God’s grace and the Spirit of life comes to live in us then he lives through us and therefore because God is perfect love he will lead you and guide you into all truth, help you in your weakness, be your strength, give you faith, develop his fruit and gifts in you so that you will be complete in him, full of his power and grace and walking in his perfect love.